Tag Archives: Russian collusion

Get ready for lots of hearings … maybe

I’m not going to predict the U.S. House of Representatives is going to flip on Nov. 6 from Republican to Democratic control. I’ll leave that for others.

But if it does …

I’m pretty sure of this circumstance: Democrats who’ll wield the gavel while leading key House committees are going to start setting up hearings involving the president, the Cabinet, the 2016 presidential campaign team and, oh, yeah, some members of the family named Trump.

We’d better get ready for a possible consequence of this midterm election. I suspect this is why politicians and political observers are calling this the most consequential midterm election in anyone’s memory.

This isn’t unprecedented. Republicans opened the congressional hearing floodgates when it concerned Hillary Rodham Clinton. The former Democratic secretary of state who served in President Obama’s first term was examined carefully by the GOP over (a) email use during her time as secretary of state and (b) the Benghazi consulate firefight that killed four individuals, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

I suspect that Democrats who take control of the House next January will discover they, too, have a target-rich environment to examine. They’ll pore over it with the proverbial fine-toothed comb.

Emoluments Clause, anyone? How about the Donald Trump campaign’s relationship with Russia, Saudi Arabia or any other foreign government with possible ties to Donald Trump’s business holdings?

Special counsel Robert Mueller appears to be winding down his own investigation into alleged “Russian collusion” involving the 2016 Trump campaign. His findings, once he releases them, are sure to spawn even more questions that Democrats will say they need to explore.

Let us not ignore the possibility of — dare I say it — impeachment hearings. That well might present congressional Democrats with their major concern if they proceed with hearings on whether to impeach the president.

They must not be perceived as looking for an impeachable offense where none exists. Then again, we will have Mueller’s report on the record to digest and to provide serious guidance for potentially the new congressional majority.

This could be fun to watch.

Who should we trust in this battle of wills?

Whenever the president of the United States challenges the credibility of the special counsel assigned to examine alleged collusion with Russian hackers, I believe I will think first of the article I have attached to this blog post.

The Washington Post article goes into great detail about the similarities and the differences between Donald John Trump and Robert Swan Mueller III.

When the president suggests that the former FBI director is unfit to conduct a probe into “The Russia Thing,” it would be good to understand from where both these men came and the choices they have made.

The Post piece tells of how they both were born into wealth. They both attended private schools. They attended Ivy League universities.

One of them chose after college to get into his father’s business. The other — pained by the Vietnam War combat death of a lifelong friend — chose to enlist in the Marine Corps and report for duty in the war that killed his friend.

Trump built a fabulous business and entertainment career with help from his father. Mueller decided to pursue a career in public service — starting with his duty on battlefields far from the comforts of home.

Trump has become a loudmouth and a braggart. Mueller became something quite different; he rarely talks about himself in public.

Trump got elected president of the United States amid considerable consternation over whether he is up to the job. Mueller got selected for the special counsel job of investigating the Trump campaign’s allegedly improper ties to Russian hackers amid universal praise and acclaim that he was the perfect man for his new job.

The investigation is ongoing. Mueller isn’t going to divulge when he intends to finish it. He will keep plowing straight ahead. He won’t be deterred by efforts to derail, divert, deflect, degrade and disparage his investigation.

I will place my faith in the career prosecutor rather than a novice politician whose entire professional life has been built on self-enrichment and self-aggrandizement.

Treason: a serious four-letter word

One more comment on “treason,” and then I’m out … maybe, perhaps, hopefully.

When the president of the United States accuses fellow Americans of committing a treasonous act, he is accusing them of aiding and abetting enemies of the state. He is saying that those who commit such acts should be punished accordingly; the law allows traitors to be, um, executed.

Thus, when Donald John “Stable Genius” Trump tosses the t-word at congressional Democrats whose “crime against the state” is to sit on their hands during the president’s State of the Union speech, he’s being politically vulgar in the worst way possible.

Trump did that while speaking to an Ohio crowd this week. He called Democrats’ actions “un-American”; someone in the crowd yelled “treasonous,” which Trump heard and took it to the next step.

“Why not?” he asked about the word, getting guffaws and hoots from the adoring crowd.

Members of the loyal opposition often are impolite, or rude, or sometimes insulting during these speeches. However, hanging the ultimate four-letter word around them — calling their actions “treasonous” — betrays an utter ignorance of the very principle on which the Founding Fathers created the greatest nation on Earth.

Moreover, I am inclined to think that a more treasonous act would be to collude with a foreign power to corrupt our electoral process … if that happened, of course.

Sickening.

Moore saga burying the bigger story

A part of me — maybe it’s a tiny part — wishes the Roy Moore story would go away.

I probably shouldn’t give a damn about Alabama’s U.S. Senate race, other than the fact that the Republican nominee for that race is being accused — apparently credibly — by women who accuse him of sexual misbehavior when they were underage girls.

I don’t want Moore to become the next senator from Alabama. Although this matter really is in the hands of Alabama voters, who need to come to grips with the notion that if they elect Moore they are sending an empty suit to represent them. Moore will be unable to do anything for them if the Senate GOP leadership has its way.

But the media are consumed by this story.

It’s masking another more important matter. While the media are focusing on the Moore story, the “Russia thing” is proceeding with all deliberate speed.

But in a way, this all might be a good thing. Special counsel Robert Mueller doesn’t strike me as a media hog. He is working under the cover of a media glare that is shining on someone else, who has nothing to do with his investigation into whether Donald Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russian hackers seeking to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.

So, now that I think about it, perhaps the media mania over Moore might be serving a greater good.

Collusion or not? Let’s wait for the FBI to do its job

FBI Director James Comey today dropped two more live grenades into our laps.

The first one is that the FBI can find no evidence, zero, that President Barack Obama ordered a wiretap of Donald J. Trump’s campaign office in Trump Tower. He cannot locate any indication that any order was given by a federal judge; he cannot find evidence of any sort of surveillance.

So …

The suggestion that the president of the United States essentially defamed his predecessor — when he tweeted the allegation of wiretapping — now has been given some credence.

The bigger grenade might be the second disclosure that Comey made to the U.S. House Intelligence Committee.

It is that the FBI is investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

Comey said FBI policy usually doesn’t allow comment on active investigations. The director made an exception in this case. The public interest is too great to ignore, he said.

What in the world does that mean?

I believe that if the FBI determines there was collusion, that the Trump campaign worked actively with Russian spooks/goons/intelligence officers to torpedo the campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton … well, I think we have a certifiable impeachable offense on our hands.

To be fair, there hasn’t been a shred of evidence presented yet to suggest any such collusion. There’s been a lot of chatter, gossip and what might be called charitably “circumstantial evidence.” We cannot go on circumstance, however. We need incontrovertible proof, man!

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Comey told committee members that this probe will require lots of time to complete. It’s complicated and detailed, he said.

Take all the time you need, Mr. FBI Director. I think we can wait for a detailed answer, no matter your conclusion.